RETALIATION

Sudden quit? Sort out why before panicking

04/28/2015
Good news if an employee isn’t satisfied with whatever you did to try to address a problem she raised: She can’t just quit in frustration and expect to win a lawsuit against you.

Piling on disciplinary charges can look like retaliation

04/21/2015
It’s easier for employees to prove retaliation for complaining about discrimination than it is to prove the underlying complaint. When disciplining someone who has complained, make sure each infraction is iron-clad—and don’t pile on additional dubious charges.

The Minnesota Whistleblower Act: More time--and more protection--for whistle-blowers

04/13/2015
Recent changes to the Minnesota Whistleblower Act and the way in which Minnesota courts interpret it should put employers on watch. Late last year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals extended the statute of limitations for MWA claims from two to six years. The ruling comes on the heels of 2013 amendments to the MWA, which, plaintiffs argue, expand the scope of the statute’s coverage.

Shouting match over name-calling: That's not protected activity

04/06/2015
Typically, protected activity involves going to the HR office or a supervisor and reporting harassment, discrimination or other perceived illegal treatment. For example, an employee who discovers a racial slur on the bathroom wall may report that to HR and that’s protected activity. But what if the employee, instead of going through channels, responds directly to the co-worker making a comment or caught writing graffiti?

Discrimination, retaliation alert: Beware bending promotion rules case-by-case

04/01/2015
When it comes to promoting employees, try to make sure everyone has a fair shot at opportunities. And if you ever bend the rules, realize that you may end up having that flexibility used against you if you don’t do the same for others.

Heard that story of unfair treatment before? You might be dealing with a serial retaliator

03/23/2015

Ever felt déjà vu when an employee claimed she was suffering retaliation because of a prior discrimination or harassment complaint? If what the employee describes sounds familiar, watch out. You may have a serial retaliator on your hands, and those earlier incidents may end up being used to prove retaliation has occurred again.

Worker's crazy email likely won't cost you in court

03/06/2015
Not every complaint amounts to “protected activity” that shields an employee from retaliation.

Trying to drive out employee can backfire

03/05/2015
Efforts to make life so miserable for an employee that she quits can come back to haunt you. It could be seen as retaliation—even if the employee never quits.

Doesn't matter that he didn't put a ring on it! Engagement unnecessary for retaliation

03/03/2015
Back in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employee who was fired after his fiancé—who worked for the same employer—filed an internal discrimination complaint could sue on his own accord alleging retaliation. The fiancé, the court concluded, was within the “zone of interest” meant to be protected from retaliation under Title VII. The Court held that by firing someone’s significant other, the employer in effect would indirectly punish the complainer. Until now, exactly who would be included in the “zone of interest” was in question.

Whistle-blower can go directly to court after internal review

02/24/2015
An employee who tries to internally report alleged wrongdoing and is then fired can pursue internal remedies—and then go directly to court with her discharge and retaliation claims.

Retaliation hits record: Alert bosses to risk

02/23/2015
While employees filed fewer charges of job discrimination in 2014 than the year before, one new statistic from the EEOC should make HR and employers stand up and take notice: More than 2 in 5 charges last year allege some form of retaliation against the employee for pursuing the discrimination claim.

Simple transfer could be considered retaliation

02/17/2015

Ordinarily, retaliation re­quires a so-called adverse employment action, such as discharge or demotion. Lesser actions, such as a lateral transfer, don’t count. That is, unless that transfer carries with it serious consequences—such as a dramatically longer commute.

It could be retaliation: Think twice before forcing transfer that greatly affects commute

02/10/2015

Employees who complain about alleged discrimination, either to their employer or to an agency such as the EEOC, are protected from retaliation. Ordinarily, that re­quires a so-called adverse employment action like discharge or demotion. Lesser actions, such as a lateral transfer, don’t count.

2 big cases reinforce: Beware adverse action against employees who report wrongdoing

01/26/2015
Two California Court of Appeal districts have significantly ex­­panded employee protection for whistle-blowers. The cases highlight that employees don’t actually have to “blow the whistle” to be protected from retaliation.

Minnesota State Supreme Court extends time for whistle-blowers to file

01/21/2015
The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned 20 years of precedent, ruling that some whistle-blower cases may be filed up to six years following an employer’s discriminatory act.
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